Loaded Lentil and Vegetable Stew

lentil and vegetable stew vegan budget recipe
  • Total recipe cost | R38.95
  • Servings | 4
  • Portion cost | R9.74

Loaded Lentil and Vegetable Stew

vegan lentil and vegetable stew recipe

This budget vegan stew recipe is surprisingly flavourful and definitely warming. The single chilli adds a fair amount of heat. Remove the seeds, use half a pepper or cut it completely if you’re not a fan of fire. It’ll still taste amazing.

Yields: 4 servings

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil | R 0.29
  • 1 onion, chopped | R 1.22
  • 2 cups potatoes, cut into small cubes | R 1.50
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced | R 2.93
  • 1 chilli pepper, sliced | R 1.13
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced | R 1.80
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika | R 0.41
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt | R 0.28
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper | R 0.40
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves | R 1.32
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped | R 1.46
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar | R 0.52
  • 6 cups vegetable stock | R 5.67
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste | R 4.21
  • 1 cup lentils, soaked | R 6.72
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar | R 0.08
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard | R 0.62
  • 2 cups baby spinach | R 8.40

Cook the vegetables | Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring as needed.

Flavour the stew | Add the garlic and chilli pepper and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the spices and herbs, stir to coat the veggies.

Deglaze the pot | Pour in the vinegar and stir to pull up any burned bits at the bottom of the pan.

Make it a stew | Add the stock and tomato paste and allow the stew to boil. Raise the heat if you need to hurry the process along. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Finishing touches | Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar, mustard and baby spinach, and serve.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

Recipe tips

This may look like a basic vegan stew recipe… and it is. Feel free to swap out your favourite herb or use sweet potatoes. Like any vegetable stew, this is a forgiving recipe. 

What I wouldn’t cut is the smoked paprika or the stock. I would stick with a beef-flavoured vegan stock if you can get it. 

Otherwise, this budget vegan recipe is as straightforward as you think it is. 

How to make vegan vegetable stew even cheaper

  • Grow your own herbs if you have the room. While this recipe was  costed based using South African grocery costs, I saved R3.91 on the total cost of this recipe between herbs and the chilli pepper.
  •  You could cut the spinach for big savings, but it really does add depth to this vegan stew. I won’t even consider it. 

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